GamesBeat

Casual-game maker OMGPOP pulls in funding; proves social games are still hot

Let’s take a break from all the serious discussion about violent video games for a second and look at casual games startup OMGPOP, which could raise up to $10 million in its current fundraising round, according to a report from All Things D.

A successful round of this magnitude is just another notch in the belt for social gaming companies that have seen enormous success in the past couple of years. Several dominant social gaming companies have essentially found ways to print money with the sale of virtual goods.

Zynga is the largest developer of casual games on social networks like Facebook with games like Farmville and Mafia Wars. One secondary market values Zynga at $5.27 billion — more than Electronic Arts, one of the largest game publishers in the world. Zynga has even been bold enough to try to file a patent on purchased in-game currency.

But Zynga is by no means the only success story — social gaming companies Playdom and Playfish have also seen sizable exits as well. Disney recently acquired Playdom for about $760 million, while gaming giant Electronic Arts picked up Playfish for around $400 million. There’s even been some attempted acquisitions within the social gaming field itself: Zynga was at one point interested in picking up Ngmoco but was outbid by Japanese mobile service provider DeNA.

With OMGPOP’s most recent round of fundraising, there’s clearly no lost interest in the casual and social gaming market. After integrating its games into Facebook — the same route Zynga and others have gone — its player base has doubled from 3 to 6 million, according to the report.

The New York, N.Y.-based company has so far raised $6.5 million since its founding four years ago, according to the report. OMGPOP operates games like Pool and Checkers, and most were free-to-play before the company decided to shift to a freemium model like Zynga and other social gaming companies.


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